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The Social Origins of Language

By Daniel Dor

Presents a new theoretical framework for the origins of human language and sets key issues in language evolution in their wider context within biological and cultural evolution


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Preposition Placement in English: A Usage-Based Approach

By Thomas Hoffmann

This is the first study that empirically investigates preposition placement across all clause types. The study compares first-language (British English) and second-language (Kenyan English) data and will therefore appeal to readers interested in world Englishes. Over 100 authentic corpus examples are discussed in the text, which will appeal to those who want to see 'real data'


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Free access to several Brill linguistics journals, such as Journal of Jewish Languages, Language Dynamics and Change, and Brill’s Annual of Afroasiatic Languages and Linguistics.


Academic Paper


Title: Why labial-velar stops merge to /gb/
Author: Michael C. Cahill
Email: click here to access email
Institution: SIL International
Linguistic Field: Phonology
Abstract: Most languages with labial-velar stops (i.e. /kp/ and /gb/) have both the voiced and voiceless versions, but several dozen languages have only /kp/ or only /gb/. Examination of the stop inventories of such languages reveals that in languages which have only /kp/ there are always other gaps in the stop inventory, but languages which have only /gb/ usually have a full set of other stops, showing that there is a different historical mechanism involved. Also, ‘/gb/-only’ languages are more common than ‘/kp/-only’ languages, despite the cross-linguistic tendency to favour voiceless stops. Comparative studies show that ‘/gb/-only’ languages are often a result of a merger of *gb and *kp into /gb/. I propose that this merger is a result of three phonetic characteristics of the phonologically voiceless /kp/, qualities typical of voiced obstruents. Since *kp is already partly in the ‘voiced camp’, I hypothesise that hearers interpret it as voiced.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Phonology Vol. 25, Issue 3, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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